Naila Art Gallery, located in downtown Riyadh near other galleries, started its operations in 2013. It set itself on the art map by hosting the exhibition “25 years of Arab creativity”, which was conceived to mark the Institut du Monde Arabe’s 25 years of existence. The exhibition, curated by the Egyptian Ihab il Laban, travelled to Riyadh to the surprise of many, after what appears to have been a fierce lobbying effort by the ladies behind Naila, namely Naifa al-Fayez and Laila Fahim (the gallery’s name is formed by the gallerists’ first names).
This exhibition included a lot of recent work by interesting artists, with many artists from the Arabian Peninsula (in France the focus is usually on the art of the French-speaking Arab world). The exhibitions Naila has hosted since then (Out of Arabia, with the British Council, and the highlights of the Islamic Arts collection of Dr. Olayani) have consistently maintained a high level, addressing different audiences.
In the summer 2013 Naila had an artist-in-residence, the Syrian Toufic Hamidi, and it represented another artist of Syrian origin, Mohammed Zaza. Not much is known yet of plans for future development of the gallery, but we’ll keep you posted here on the Gulf Art Guide.
- The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – Open Calls as of March 2015
- Launched: Jameel Photography Award by the Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, Jeddah
- BBC News: Venice Biennale hosts largest ever presence of Arab art
- Report of the visit by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to Saudi Arabia
- T Qatar on Manal Al Dowayan’s ‘Suspended Together’.